How to maximize space in a pantry

Get tips on How to maximize space in a pantry so you can streamline this super important room in your home more efficiently. Get even more food storage tips on our Pantry Organization page.

I have a friend that has 9 kids. I kid you not, NINE. And it always amazes me how she is able to take a shower every day let alone work a job and still have time to talk to friends. There are days I am barely holding it together and I’m an empty nester for goodness sake. 

And where does she keep the stuff? Think about how much stuff comes with a family of 11. And then there’s the food. I think it would take a room the size of a house just to hold the food you need to feed those troops. Oh, how I would love to be a fly on her wall so I could marvel at that family in action on a typical day. 

No matter what size your family is I am sure you would love to know if there is a way to find more room in your kitchen pantry. To come up with just a bit more space so you can keep just a little bit more inside. 

Good news, there is. 

I have a few tips that will help you to make the most of the space you have. And even better news, you will not need to break down any walls to find it. 

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How to Maximize Space in a Pantry

Not everyone is blessed with a big walk-in pantry, and not every home has a kitchen filled with plenty of cabinet space. 

Before we talk about what you may be missing, let’s first look at how you have things set up now. Go into your pantry and ask yourself if it’s working. Not sure? Take a look at where the food is now. If you see random items tossed on shelves with bags of groceries waiting on the floor, it is probably safe to say, your setup is not cutting it. 

Before you can find more space, you first need to organize what you have. Jump on over and read, How to Organize a kitchen pantry to get started.

Just remember a few space-saving tips. 

  • Combine what you can. If you have packets of rice all over your pantry you will actually save space by combing them all into one basket. 
  • Ditch the boxes. Many snack boxes take up more space than what they hold inside. Dump out snacks into kid-friendly baskets. 
  • Use categories to organize. This is the easiest way to streamline a pantry. Pick the categories that make sense to you and use them to set up baskets, drawers, or entire shelves. 

Read More on Categories Here

More Space on Pantry Shelves

When short on space, go up. I love using risers to double the room I have on a shelf. It’s a super quick way to give you twice as much room to work with. You can use a plate shelf or a full shelf riser either one will work out great. Once you have your second level set up, you can use it to hold a basket of canned goods, rice or noodle pouches, or boxed dinners. Need more room still? How about tripling the shelving with this awesome cabinet organizer? 

Stacking baskets work great as well, and the handles make it easy to take the entire thing to the kitchen with you. This a great option if you are organizing your pantry by cuisine. Fill a basket with all the things you need for lasagna, and you can take it to the kitchen and get cooking in no time. 

Another option for creating more space on your pantry shelves is to add more below with an under-the-shelf basket. These work great for food wraps, bread, pasta, or snacks. 

More Space on the Pantry Door

I love using door organizers to create more space in just about any room of a home, but it works great in a pantry as well. You can use a cloth door organizer to hold seasonings, chips, rice, soup, snacks, and even drinks. Or you may prefer a metal door organizer, so it is more sturdy to hold canned goods, jars of food, condiments, or baking supplies. 

More Space on the Pantry Wall

Not the first place to look for more storage, but you might just be surprised at what you may be missing. If you have the space, a wall-mounted basket setup is the perfect way to add additional storage to your kitchen pantry. 

Use the baskets to hold potatoes, onions, snacks, bagged food, or snacks for the kid’s lunches. 

Hooks are your best bet for adding space to your walls. Not only are they easy to install they are super affordable as well. You can use Command Hooks or permanent hooks to hold heavier items. They work great to create space when you’re short. You can hang bags of food on hooks, produce storage bags, baskets for chips, or extra items. 

More Space on the Pantry Floor

The floor is my favorite place because it is a great area for heavy storage. Appliances you are not using routinely do well on the floor of a kitchen pantry. You can use a dolly with wheels to hold several appliances so you can slide them in and out more easily. 

Appliances to keep on the floor of your pantry:

  • Instantpot
  • Crocks pot
  • Roaster
  • Mixer
  • Canner
  • Air Fryer
  • Grill 

Another idea for the floor is using large and deep baskets to hold bags of food like family-sized chips or baking supplies. 

If your bottom shelf is low to the ground, this is the option you need; a rolling floor shelf is a perfect solution. Use this to hold just about anything you want. 

More Space Saving Tips for Your Pantry

But before you start doing an overhaul using the tips above, you will want to take into consideration your family and the needs they have. A pantry is a communal space, and the more you can keep it family-friendly, the neater it will stay.

  • If you have younger children then the lower shelves are going to work best for them. 
  • A distracted teen may do better with a basket of snacks all their own. 
  • A picky husband might prefer an upper shelf that only he can reach to hold his favorites. 

Other Storage Areas in Your Pantry

#1. – Look up high.

If you have an upper shelf that is a bit hard to reach, this is a good area to hold lightweight bulk food items such as paper towels. 

#2. Check the corners.

Deep corners and deep shelves often get ignored, but they are a great place to keep seasonal items. Things like serving platters, dishes, buffet items, and more. You can keep a label out front so you remember what you have stored in the back. 

My new favorite organizer for deep corners is lazy Susans; they are perfect for not only this area but any deep shelf you are struggling to streamline. You can put one Lazy Susan in front of the other and solve that annoying problem in one step. 

Remember, when it comes to making the most of your space, we are not looking for pristine here. We are looking for functional and efficient. And that is why it is important to know what your family needs. And who knows, if you can give them an area of their own, you might really maximize the space in your pantry and finally keep things neat and mess-free going forward. 

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